St. Lydia in Illyria


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Commemorated on March 23

St. Philetus was a dignitary at the court of Emperor Hadrian, a persecutor of Christians in the third century. For openly confessing his faith in Christ the Savior, St. Philetus was brought to trial with his wife, St. Lydia, and their sons, Macedonius and Theoprepius. By Emperor Hadrian’s order, St. Philetus was sent with his family to Illyria to the military governor, Amphilochius, to be tortured.

Amphilochius gave orders to suspend the family from a tree and to torture them with knives. After this, they were locked up in prison with the jailer Cronides, who believed in Christ. An angel came to them by night and eased their sufferings.

On the following day, the martyrs were plunged into a cauldron of boiling oil, but the oil cooled instantly, and the saints remained unharmed. Governor Amphilochius was so astonished at this miracle that he himself believed in Christ and went into the boiling oil saying, “Lord, Jesus Christ, help me!,” and he remained unharmed. The tortures were repeated when Emperor Hadrian visited Illyria. They threw the holy martyrs into the boiling oil again and again, but by the power of God, they remained alive.

The humiliated emperor returned to Rome, and the holy martyrs gave thanks to God. They then surrendered their holy souls to Him.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)